National crepes Suzette day
We're fired up about May 6, which is National Crêpes Suzette Day!
Folded pancakes sit in a pool of caramelized orange sauce, and bonus -- there's fire involved. What's not to love?
Crêpes are essentially a thinner, wider version of a pancake. There's no leavening agent in crêpe batter, and they cook much faster.
A good crêpe batter usually sticks to (or is close to) the following ratio: 1 cup of flour to 2 eggs and 2 cups of milk or water. Some recipes call for a mix of water and milk, and the amount of liquid will also vary on the amount of moisture in the air. Some recipes also add sugar or vanilla for a sweeter crêpe.
Crêpe batter is a lot runnier than pancake batter, so don't fret if yours looks watery. Sifting the flour goes a long way to ensure lump-free crêpes, and to be safe, let the batter rest in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before cooking.
Also, and this is true about 99% of the time, the first crêpe will always be a flop. Guaranteed. It's one of those ways the universe reminds us we're mere mortals. So don't be surprised if you throw the first one out - I do just for good luck, even if it's perfect.
Once your crêpes are ready, it's time for the sauce. Crêpes Suzette are often prepared tableside in restaurants because they're flashy. The sauce the crêpes are served in contains an orange liqueur that is lit on fire, known as flambé. The flames burn off some of the excess alcohol and help to bring the sauce together. Of course, you don't have to get all fancy with a pyrotechnic display but, with practice, it's a neat party trick. Just make sure you ignite the alcohol when the pan is off the heat, especially if you're using a gas stove.
Other than orange liqueur, the sauce contains orange juice, orange zest and/or segments and sugar. The crêpes are folded in half to make a semi-circle, and then in half again so it looks like a pizza slice. The dish should be eaten as soon as the hot sauce is spooned over the crepes.
If you're making this at home and for a large group, the crêpes can be made ahead of time, but the sauce should be made just before serving. Plus, that way you get to show off your flambé skills.
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